This week marks the fourth-year anniversary of Joey Barton-gate at Rangers when the feisty midfielder’s short spell at the club ended in the stramash to beat all stramashes.
The story goes that Barton unloaded then Rangers manager Mark Warburton after the club were humiliated 5-1 by Celtic in the first Old Firm of the club’s first season back in the topflight.
The midfielder would confirm this in a later interview with CFB Football earlier this year where he shook allegations of a dust-up with Andy Halliday off.
Barton admitted that both he and Halliday were in feisty competition in a training session in the aftermath of the match but his contract being severed with Rangers concerns primarily Warburton.
“I just think Warbs lacked the instinct that is needed to win at the top level,” said Barton.
The outspoken midfielder was critical of Warbs’ coaching style and mentality and clearly didn’t believe the ex-economist had what it takes to lead Rangers.
As for the clash, Barton walked off the training ground due to what he viewed as an amateur response to the Celtic humbling and was called to the manager’s office.
The midfielder’s honest response to Warburton’s management style and the direction he was taking the club earned him a ticket out of Ibrox and the rest is history.
Barton also warned Rangers could sue him if he goes into the “warts and all” of the story but claimed he was made a “scapegoat” for the manager’s failings.
Not that Barton wasn’t blameless – his arrogance in the press after signing for the club and attacks on Celtic captain Scott Brown were setting the midfielder up for a fail.
But to be fair to the midfielder, he was proven right after Warbs jumped ship to Nottingham Forest following a dispute over a tendered resignation at Ibrox.
A lot has changed at Ibrox over the last four years with Rangers going from Parkhead maulings to winning twice on the bounce at the home of our rivals.
The club looks like genuine title contenders and Steven Gerrard is a figurehead with a stronger mentality than Warburton ever had and a greater poise and calm than Barton.
The incident rocked Ibrox at the time and was perhaps symbolic of the infighting and lack of cohesion and vision in the background of the side.
There will be a few Rangers fans looking back on the incident with regret for any number of reasons but there were no winners in this situation as the club battled back to its perch.
Now the manager of Fleetwood Town, a lot has changed for Joey Barton too as we reach the fourth anniversary of Barton’s Ibrox exit, which leaves an indelible mark on Scottish football.